Enormous huntsman spider found in family's luggage

"He was about the size of my two hands put together"

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huntsman found in Uk family's luggage

An 18cm huntsman spider survived a 10,000 mile journey from Brisbane, Australia to Redhill in Surrey.

The RSPCA came to the rescue after the enormous spider was found in a shipping container full of family belongings at a removals company base in Merstham, Redhill on Wednesday.

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RSPCA animal collection officer Annie Janes was first on hand to confine the arachnid adventurer who had travelled for more than three months from Brisbane to the UK.

Janes said: "This huntsman spider is quite the traveller. From the empty locust shells found in the container, it seems he has thankfully been able to find food during that length of time, but it's a long time to go without water, and he's lucky he didn't get squished by any boxes or furniture. When I arrived he had been caught in a box and I carefully put a few drops of water down which he drank for some time, before confining him in a secure carrier.

hunstman found in UK family luggage

She added that finding an exotic spider or insect in a shipping or removal container is not as rare as people may think - because the containers can include outdoor belongings like children's play equipment and garden furniture, spiders can get picked up by mistake.

"I carefully confined him and transported him to the Heathrow Animal Reception in Hounslow, who will arrange for him to be rehomed to a specialist," Janes said. "He was about the size of my two hands put together, roughly 18cm, so quite something to look at! Thankfully I wasn't apprehensive. In my job I have to rescue all sorts of animals so I have had to learn to get used to dealing with spiders.

"Huntsman spiders are not venomous but they can give a nasty bite.

"We would advise anyone who comes across any animal in distress to contact our 24-hour emergency line on 0300 1234 999."

Huntsman spiders originate in parts of Australasia, Africa, Asia, the Mediterranean Basin, and the Americas, and the giant variety, Heteropoda maxima, can grow to up to 30cm in leg span.

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